London Marathon 2012: Paralysed Claire Lomas Reaches Finishing Line After 16 Days

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CLAIRE LOMAS
PA

Paralysed Claire Lomas has completed the London Marathon after 16 days, becoming the first person ever to complete the race in a bionic suit.

Lomas crossed the finishing line on The Mall having started the 26.2 mile route on 22 April with some 36,000 other participants.

The 32-year-old, from Eye Kettleby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, was left paralysed from the chest down following a horse riding accident in 2007.

So far she has raised around £85,000 for Spinal Research, a charity which funds medical research around the world to develop reliable treatments for paralysis caused by a broken back or neck.

An emotional Lomas smiles:

Ms Lomas has walked around two miles a day, cheered on by husband Dan, mother Joyce and 13-month-old daughter Maisie.

But Ms Lomas will not appear in the official results or receive a medal when she finishes, organisers confirmed, as competitors have to finish the course on the same day to qualify for a medal.

A number of celebrities have also lent their support by walking a mile alongside her, including TV presenter Gabby Logan and husband, former international rugby star Kenny, and TV presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle.

The mother-of-one broke her neck, back and ribs and punctured a lung when her horse Rolled Oats threw her off as she took part in the Osberton Horse Trials in Nottinghamshire in 2007.

Claire Balding tweeted from the finishing line:


Clare Balding
Well that was amazing. Claire Lomas finishes the London Marathon 17 days after she started. Not a dry eye on the Mall

The £43,000 ReWalk suit, designed by Israeli entrepreneur Amit Goffer, enables people with lower-limb paralysis to stand, walk and climb stairs through motion sensors and an onboard computer system.

A shift in the wearer's balance, indicating their desire to take, for example, a step forward, triggers the suit to mimic the response that the joints would have if they were not paralysed.

To sponsor Ms Lomas online visit www.justgiving.com/Claire-Lomas.

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